[Paleopsych] Primary Perception

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Mon Oct 4 09:19:45 UTC 2004


Review of Primary Perception by Cleve Backster
By Brian O'Leary 
Cleve Backster is no ordinary scientist. His path to discovery, so well 
described in his autobiographical book Primary Perception, brings 
together both the human and objective elements into a gripping detective 
story, leading to insights many scientists would not
want to touch because the implications are so profound and in some 
respects contradictory to the materialistic world view that grips 
contemporary science.
The subtitle well expresses his breakthroughs: Biocommunication with 
plants, living foods and human cells. Backster's courage and humility in 
breaking out of the traditional box of Western science provides an 
inspiration for the rest of us.
As a physics faculty member at Princeton University during the 1970s, I 
began to have some experiences that shattered my own materialistic 
paradigm. I became hungry for experiments which would reveal the 
mysteries of consciousness, of measuring communications of intent with 
other living beings as a force that transcends ordinary physics and 
When Backster's experiments came to my attention, I spent time in his 
laboratory verifying the extraordinary phenomena on the influence of 
human intent on the electrical activity of target cells. I was so 
inspired, I used Backster's work in the lead to my book, Exploring Inner 
and Outer Space.
The process of Backster's discoveries revealed in Primary Perception is 
required reading for anyone interested in how science could be done in a 
better world. Ironically, the humility with which he took on the task 
made him better qualified to do the work than prestigious scientists at 
leading universities who have vested interests in traditional science 
and have avoided this kind of research for fear of being ostrasized by 
their peers.
It takes great courage to break out of the old, comfortable modes of 
research (I call it the box of materialism) and go for the truth for 
what it is, rather than for more limited truths inside the box. 
Backster's independence is a key to his success, because he is not 
trying to impress anybody or placate funding sources; he's an authentic 
truth-seeker, intelligent, honest, transparent, generous with his time, 
childlike in his sense of awe and wonder with
the phenomena, and willing to take the path of discovery wherever it leads.
This book can be easily understood by almost anyone. It's a great read 
and an essential addition to any library on new science.
Brian O'Leary, Ph.D.
former astronaut and professor of astronomy
Co-founder, International Association of New Science
Founding president, New Energy Movement

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